Ralph Devlin AM QC, Founding Chairman

“Our Charter is unambiguous: to present quality classical music in stunning places and spaces.”

A very warm welcome to our Sunshine Coast Chamber Music Festival, SCCMF.

The path to our first SCCMF Festival in June 2021 has been swift and sure: On 20 June 2020, courtesy of our first Partner, Butler McDermott, Solicitors of Nambour, our Not-for-Profit Company was formed and registered as a Charity. Our first Board meeting followed in July 2020; our first fundraising function was in November 2020 and our Team has been running hard since then!

Another early Partner was the Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation and its Chair, Emeritus Professor Jennifer Radbourne, who provided crucial support for our fundraising effort. We also successfully applied for grants from Sunshine Coast Council, State Government and Federal Government and we greatly appreciate that assistance.

A Festival for the Sunshine Coast has been a dream of mine for several years now. As inaugural Major Events Board Chair from 2013 to 2020, I identified the lack of a dedicated Chamber Music Festival and chose to pursue the idea after my retirement from the Events Board. In 2018 I met the remarkable Louise King, an extraordinary cellist and proud resident of Eudlo. Through 2019 Louise and I met several times to talk about Chamber Music for the Coast.

Several very talented people soon raised their hand for the daunting challenge of creating a sustainable, annual Festival and became foundation Directors:

CLAIRE BOOTH, Maleny – former CEO, Queensland Symphony;
LYN CHEETHAM, Maroochydore – former music educator and College Principal;
DAVID HOPPER, Buderim – major events and tourism expert
LOUISE KING, Eudlo – Artist Extraordinaire.

We also appreciate our professional advisors:

PHOEBE MILLER, Nambour – Butler McDermott, Solicitor and Company Secretary
VICTORIA BERRY, Birtinya – HBA Encompass, Certified Practicing Accountant.

I am indebted to these people for their generosity in donating their prodigious skills to the foundation work of the SCCMF Board. TRACEY COOBULA, Marketing expert, of Coolum Beach, also worked with us for the first 6 months on marketing systems to get us started.

Our Charter is unambiguous: to present quality classical music in stunning places and spaces. SCCMF is to be a permanent classical music presence and resource. Our aim is to grow our Festival year on year, attracting performers of renown and audiences from near and far.

As a Not-for-Profit, SCCMF is driven by volunteers to provide a wide range of professional employment to Musicians and other ‘Creatives’, including staging, lighting, sound and project management. Many people from all areas of the Arts are impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and we will strive to do everything we can to assist their recovery and resurgence.

I wish to especially acknowledge our Foundation Donors who have generously given so that this Festival will become a reality. Your strong support has been unique in the Performing Arts world, but is not at all unique within the Sunshine Coast. Philanthropy and volunteering are signature values of our Sunshine Coast community, where I have been a volunteer now for 50 years.

As a proud Chairman of SCCMF, again I welcome you to our festival and thank you for your interest. I urge you to support our inaugural 2021 Festival in the audience, as a volunteer and/or as a donor. Please get involved in any way you wish and help secure a new future for our Artists and Creatives.

Ralph Devlin AM QC